GPs predict longer waiting times - survey

Stethoscope The Royal College of GPs surveyed just over 200 GPs

Related Stories

Patients will find it more difficult to see a GP in the future as budgets get squeezed, doctors are predicting.

A Royal College of General Practitioners poll of 206 UK GPs found that more than 70% were forecasting longer waiting times within two years.

Eight in 10 also said they did not have enough resources to provide high-quality care, the survey showed.

A Patients Association report this year suggested that people were already having to wait longer.

Six in 10 of those polled by the royal college said patients in England were waiting longer than the recommended 48 hours.

Primary care, which includes GP services, has been one of the worst hit by the funding squeeze in the health service.

Spending has effectively been frozen for the past six years in England, and while there have been rises in funding elsewhere in the UK, they have been smaller compared with those given to other parts of the health service such as hospitals.

'Breaking point'

The RCGP said this situation was beginning to have an impact.

Chairman Dr Clare Gerada said: "GPs are grappling with a double whammy of spiralling workloads and dwindling resources, and big cracks are starting to appear in the care and services that we can deliver for our patients.

"We are particularly concerned about the effect this is having, and will continue to have, on waiting times for GP appointments.

"The profession is now at breaking point and we do not have the capacity to take on any more work without extra funding and resources to back it up."

The poll showed that 78% of GPs had already seen a reduction in opening hours over the past two years, while nearly half had cut back on the range of services they offered.

Ben Dyson, of NHS England, said: "We fully recognise that demands and patterns of healthcare are changing, and that this is increasing pressure on parts of the NHS.

"That's why we have recently published a call to action about the future of general practice to help stimulate new, innovative approaches to providing services and ensuring every patient gets the care they need."


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 106.

    I don't think it's fair to just bash GPs like this. They have been loaded on with unnecessary managerial roles, such as finances and targets.
    Charlie No15: I don't know where you get your figures from, but with a parent who is a GP, they certainly don't earn £200,000 a year.

  • rate this

    Comment number 105.

    The biggest burden faced by the NHS is doctors pay.

    -GP's are not employed by the NHS they are self employed and on average NHS Senior Hospital Doctors earn £100,000 less a year despite being equally or better qualified.

    Despite this

    This Government has just handed over 85% of NHS funding to GP's via the Lansley "reforms"

    The biggest burden faced by the NHS is the Tory Government

  • rate this

    Comment number 104.

    Another Hunt/Government triumph.

  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    Longer waiting times are a symptom that the Govt wants. Solutions:
    - Go private ("Small Govt" preferred option - they want us to lose confidence in the NHS)
    - Die or get better without help (default option)
    - Work Harder/Longer/Cheaper (Govt expectation of rest of us)
    - Work Smarter (has worked elsewhere - prevention?)
    - More resources (last option)

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.

    A lot more could be done directly by pharmacists as it is in countries like Spain. Instead of just chucking more money at the NHS this should be looked at.

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    My GP has a drop in clinic every morning, providing you turn up between 8:30-10:15, he will see you.

    Longest I had to wait was 1 hr 45 mins. I always bring a book to read just in case. I rather do this than book an appt 10 days later.

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    I think this is partly due to the increase of the population, with a predicted population of 70 million, not only will this resource will be stretched but the whole UK infrastructure will be unable to cope.

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.

    The population within the UK is out of control thanks to inept politicians of all parties, It is not just doctors surgeries that are under strain but our entire NHS, schools ,housing and workforce, immigration needs to be taken seriously before this country snaps in two.

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    80. Linense

    Your story reminds the guy who is on holiday in Spain. He sees a sign on a building - ENGLISH SPEAKING DOCTOR. He thinks "A great idea - why don't we have them in Britain?"

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    I'm sure the £11 billion ringfenced for tin-pot regimes abroad would go a long way to patching the cracks in NHS service provision.The Somali militants are nearly half a million better off after seizing some UK aid,I think its the turn of local GP services to have a few hundred grand too.Cameron,when youve got your own shop in order,you can start playing the great benfactor with our tax pounds

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    As a GP I am saddened to see yet another story like this - and an erroneous, patronising, and over- simplified 'Editor's Pick' to complement it. The problem lies in the *politically* driven reduction of services, district nurses, care homes, funding... I could go on. Trust me we cannot do more than we already and nobody should make or "compel" us to do anything more or risk the NHS collapse.

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    If they designated a few hours a day for follow up and regular appointments and left x hours a day free for walk in patients you would not have to be told by a jobsworth secretary that the doctor cannot possibly see you for at least a week, which often results in a visit to an already stretched A&E.

    This works well at my practice.

    Bad Practice managers prioritise the budget over patient care

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.


    ''...I'm so glad my patients aren't like the majority of posters on here. It's hard to imagine a bunch of more bitter ill-informed people...''

    Opinions from posters dismissed with typical doctor arrogance and conceit. This is partly why ordinary people (patients) get frustrated. The public are now realising what a cushy existence many GPs lead.

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    I tried to book an appointment one day and got told to phone back at 09:00 the next day. I did that but got an answering machine. I kept trying. I eventually got through. No appointments left. You have to try again at 09:00 the next day. I tried this. Same response as the day before. I told the receptionist all I got was a machine. We ain't got a machine she said. 5 days later I gave up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 92.

    the real trouble with the health service today is not just financial is that doctors and nurses are primarily career minded whilst in the past they cared more for the patients.....when i was in hospital the philipino nurses were far more caring and not just career minded...other patients in other hospitals have experienced this also.

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    The GP's are running their practices as if they are businesses. They do as they like in a totally selfserving manner because they are allowed to get away with it. The rules of the GP's game must be Completely changed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    It's only doctors surgeries and banks which are closed at weekends now. Enough said.

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    15 and 56. I am a GP - i've worked in the NHS for 12 years - for 9 years as a hosp worked out as £3.23. i still work over 12 hour days. i often have to come in on w/e to catch up with paper work. Check the freedom of info data the avg GP salary is £70k full time. My morale has never been lower due 2 public opinions of us. i work very hard and have and continue to sacrifice alot for my pts

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    What do you expect when fools vote Tory? They couldn't care less about having a strong, healthy society. For them it's all about the individual and bribes with personal tax cuts and relief for business. I'm sorry, if you want a strong society you have to pay for it. Otherwise the great NHS will wither and die and bins outside your house will go uncollected. You get what you vote for.

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    Agree with your polarisation observation - unfortunately many tories are wedded to Washington and fears of our usual mimickery of US policies have not been helped by gifting £3 billion of tax payers money to overpaid US consultants to facilitate the move the Medicaid.

    As you imply European countries have a far more stakeholder friendly approach to healthcare ie it's fit for purpose


Page 33 of 38


More Health stories



Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.